After the Golf Road Warriors closed out the Terra Lago golf course long after the sun set behind the Coachella Valley’s western mountains, we headed back to dinner at the ultra-cool IW Club in Indian Wells, where the banisters up the long and winding concrete staircase are covered in leather, rooms are partitioned by frosted glass, and the menu has a perfect blend of steak, seafood, fowl and more. Before that, on the deck outside the restaurant, we were joined by an astronomer from Sky Watcher Stargazing Tours, which holds weekly programs at La Quinta and serves private star parties, school outings and corporate events around the Greater Palm Springs area.
With a ten-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain Reflector computerized telescope, our guide Scott – – who didn’t leave his full name on the business card provided in a small press kit – – switched back and forth from Jupiter to the crescent moon. On this evening four of Jupiter’s moons were sharp and clearly seen, three atop the planet and one below. When the planet is aligned, the view of the moons changes nightly. Kessler was mightily impressed by the mountain ridges and craters on the moon’s surface, and kept going back for a fourth and fifth look.
It was yet another treat set up by our hosts from the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Authority. And it was good looking up at the end of the day, after looking down for eight hours in search of errant golf balls.